While no one likes to think about the possibility of a truck accident, the reality is that we share the roads with these very large and heavy machines every time we drive on New York’s highways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that there were 104,000 injuries in accidents involving large trucks in the U.S. in 2012, so it is important to drive defensively and cautiously around the big rigs.
One of the major causes of collisions involving tractor-trailers is error on the part of other drivers on the road. Drivers of other vehicles need to be aware that these metal behemoths do not stop quickly or maneuver deftly, and there are significant truck driver blind spots that prevent the driver from seeing parts of their own vehicle as well as others traveling near them.
Taking precautionary steps to protect yourself from the likelihood of an accident is the best way to stay safe on the highways and public roads.
Where are the truck driver blind spots?
Even the most skilled and cautious truck drivers are subject to the weaknesses of blind spots on their vehicles. Truck blind spots are located on the front, rear, and sides of their vehicles where they are unable to see approaching traffic. Being aware of these spots can help you avoid them when driving.
What can I do to avoid truck driver blind spots?
The following tips are simple ways to avoid driving in truck blind spots. By remembering these safety measures, you can drive defensively around large vehicles and pass and maneuver around them safely.
- A very good rule is to check a truck’s side mirror to determine if you are able to see the driver in it. If you can’t see the driver, he or she can’t see you either. If you can see the driver, you are in a position where the driver can also see your vehicle.
- Do not try to squeeze past a truck when it is making a turn. Trucks swing out to the left to make a tight right turn, and in many cases, you will find yourself in a blind spot if you get too close. Stay back in your lane rather than trying to sneak past the truck. Allow the truck driver to make the turn before proceeding through the intersection.
- Be aware of truck driver blind spots when you are passing a truck. Do not linger next to the truck where you are in a position where you can’t be seen. The driver could decide to change lanes and you will be caught in a bad spot.
- Do not cut off a truck when changing lanes. Blind spots exist on the front of the truck and if you try to change lanes in front of one, you could cause a collision, especially given that trucks take longer to stop. Trucks in New York City now require a crossover mirror that would allow truckers to see pedestrians, bicyclists and other vehicles in front of the truck. But still be sure you can see the entire front end of the tractor-trailer before entering the lane in front of it.
- Use caution when merging. Be sure the truck driver can see you before entering the lane. Do not rush in front of a truck, as you could place yourself in a truck driver blind spot and cause a collision.
- Use turn signals. It might help a trucker notice your vehicle if you use your turn signals. While a turn signal might help get a driver’s attention if he or she can see you, it is still important to remember that there will be times when that driver can’t see you at all. Try to avoid driving in blind spots for any prolonged period of time.
I’ve been Involved in a truck accident. What can I do?
Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. helps accident victims in New York injured in truck accidents or who suffered property damage in a truck accident. If you were injured or currently struggling with a truck accident claim, we can help. Call us today at (800) 550-0000.